This week our Spring CSA members are receiving their first round of fresh herbs: chives, cilantro, and oregano. Yay!
Cooking with fresh herbs adds an enticing layer of flavor to everything from guacamole (cilantro), an omelette (chives), and chili (oregano). But to cook with fresh herbs, you have to keep them fresh until you’re ready to use them. Here are some tips to do just that:
- Know the type of herb you’re storing. There are two basic categories of herbs: soft (tender leaves and stems) and hard (woody leaves and stems). Cilantro falls into the soft category, and chives and oregano into the hard.
- Storing soft herbs. Common soft herbs include basil, cilantro, dill, mint, and parsley. These herbs are best stored upright in a glass of water, following these steps:
- Trim the ends.
- Place your herb bouquet in an appropriately-sized jar with about an inch of water.
- Place in the fridge, and cover loosely with a plastic bag. Basil is the one exception to this–I’ll write more about this when we get into basil season.
- Replace water every couple of days.
- Use within one week for maximum freshness.
3. Storing hard herbs. Common hard herbs include chives, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme. Follow these steps for storage:
- Wrap the herbs loosely in a damp (not wet!) paper towel.
- Place in a plastic bag or airtight container.
- Wash and dry right before use.